Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Welcome to the new Shoes of Prey Sydney office

Last Monday we moved into our new Shoes of Prey Sydney office and one week in, we couldn't be happier!

We leased 140sqm of space at 285A Crown St. Surry Hills. For those who know the area it's the building next door to The Winery, we're on the first floor above Thomas Dux, Zushi and Madam Cha Cha.

The space is not cheap, it's the most expensive space we came across in Surry Hills. However it's also by far the best space we came across and as much as we looked at other places, we just kept coming back to this one. We're bootstrapping Shoes of Prey and everything we do is funded out of our cashflow so we're very conscious of costs throughout the business, however we're also well aware that building a strong team is critical for our business as we grow, and we feel that office space like this is going to help us attract and retain staff and build a great culture within the business. It's also an excellent place to host press so will help us from a PR point of view, and the quality of the space and location will allow us to experiment with some offline retailing without going as far as opening a store.

We've started putting on lunch for all our staff. For the moment we're picking a local take-away restaurant and all ordering from there with one person going to collect lunch. We then eat around a communal table in the office. There's some fantastic food in this area, last week we had lunch from my favourite burger place Grill'd, Zushi, Mad Pizza, Madam Cha cha and Pie Face.

We've got more space than we need for the moment, however we're undecided on whether to sub-lease the space or just keep it for ourselves. Some extra money would be nice and with the right co-tenants it could create an interesting environment. However we're also conscious of wanting to build a strong, effective internal Shoes of Prey culture, and having our own space will make that easier. We've decided we'll wait a month or two until we've settling in then decide whether to sublease or not.

Mike, Bel and Mel hard at work in the foreground.

Jonaye putting together leather samples.

Diane Wong, our marketing intern.

Jodie settling in with matching skirt and chair, and fantastic leopard print ankle boots by Shoes of Prey. ;)


  1. Congrats on the new space Michael. The office looks great. Lots of natural light is always a big plus =) I like that you've got room to grow.. I have to agree that company culture is incredibly important especially as you grow so sub-leasing the space could cause issues if the new additions are not the best fit. Would love to hear your take on developing company culture, if you haven't already written about it.

    Thanks for the tour ;)

  2. Thanks Ivan. 1.5 weeks in and the office is definitely making a difference to our company culture. I hadn't actually realised how difficult it was to build this when sub-leasing and sharing space! A few culture related posts are brewing so I'll definitely share them once things develop a little more. :)

  3. Congrats on the new space, Michael. Your offices, and the entire floor, look like fantastic work spaces. Thanks for sharing!

  4. congrats guys, office looks fantastic. has been so inspiring reading about your journey!

  5. What about leasing it as a co-working space to other designers? That would help build up the design & fashion culture.

    Location is pretty important & so is food options! I work near Chinatown / Oxford St and its awesome

  6. Oh wow! If only I worked in an office like that! keep up the good work guys.
    Anik from Belgium

  7. Looks amazing! Can't wait to see it.

  8. Congrats Team on the new spaces! Upwards and onwards!

  9. Really cool! Congratulations. Everyone looks so happy!

  10. Nice one! Just down the road from my house!

    Best of luck in the new space, looking forward to hearing about your future successes

  11. With the growth you are experiencing, your office will be packed in no time. When we first moved into our current office, we even had enough room for a full size handball court marked out on the carpet, but it didn't take long until we had to remove the masking tape and replace it with work stations.

    Also, how do you plan to un-sublease a tenant if you feel you can utilise the space quicker than anticipated?

    That's my 2c :)

  12. Thanks everyone. Gary, sorry to hear about the demise of your handball court! ;)

    I think we're leaning towards not subleasing. The un-subleasing issue could be resolved by only taking tenants who are ok with us having the option to take the space back with 1-2 months notice. The main issue for us is culture. The difference in just 4 weeks from being in a shared space to our own space is amazing, there's a much stronger bond between the team and everyone seems much happier having 'our own space'. We'll give it some more time before we decide for us, but we want to be careful we don't lose that vibe.